• Publication date: February 16, 2011

Jan Jan Jan Jan

Sadık (Berk Hakman), nicknamed Jan Jan by his peers, lives in a rural ...

Sadık (Berk Hakman), nicknamed Jan Jan by his peers, lives in a rural Turkish village where morality and virtue is still upheld. After a devastating earthquake killed his parents, Jan Jan was adopted by the townspeople, specifically a wealthy man named Murtaza (Çetin Öner) and the village barber, Kerim (Levend Yılmaz). His brother, Ahmet (Aykut Kayacık) started a new life in Germany as a restaurant owner, and sent a small sum of money to Sadik each month. While losing his mother and father was a traumatic experience by itself, Jan Jan's mental retardation was the most detrimental setback. Without the ability to speak or perform anything except menial tasks, Sadik was destined to rely upon others for sustenance. His childlike innocence warmed the villagers' hearts however, and Jan Jan's presence appeared more as a blessing than a burden. Murtaza has presumably never been married, nor has he begotten any children. Likely in his 70s, the prospect of either happening seemed nil. That changed when he encountered a 17-year-old Kurdish girl named Güzel; Murtaza was so mesmerized by her that he offered Güzel's impoverished parents an entire farm in exchange for the girl's hand in marriage. Yet Jan Jan also had his eyes on the Kurd, and when news spread of her marriage, he slid into deep depression. Worse yet, Sadik coincidentally witnessed Murtaza consummate the marriage – something his simple mind could not easily comprehend. Soon his depression transformed into pure madness. Güzel has not only attracted the attention of Murtaza and Jan Jan, but the eyes of each young boy in the city. Every post-pubescent teenager schemed just to sit in the same room with her, if only for a quick peak at the newlywed's beauty. That is somewhat innocent, but what some of the teens do next is most certainly not. In an attempt to fulfill their own fantasies, the group encourages Sadik to essentially rape Güzel. Each day they invite him to an Internet café to watch pornographic films, telling him to imitate what he sees on the screen with Murtaza's wife. Eventually Jan Jan makes an advance toward Güzel, though genuine love is his motivation rather than pure lust. Quite simply, he does not know any better. At the same time Güzel allows him to proceed, uninterested in remaining faithful to her elderly husband. When Murtaza discovers his wife is pregnant, and gossip around town suggests that Jan Jan is to blame, the village's handicapped sweetheart becomes a despised and hunted man. The true culprits, however, are the boys who coaxed him into seducing the married woman; Güzel is admittedly not blameless either. Yet what motivates each character in the film is not necessarily pure evil. The picture blurs the lines between binary morality and immorality and questions when it is better to forgive and forget, regardless of an individual's mental health. Rating: PG